NEW PORT RICHEY — Nine years in the making, the Main Street Landing project,
with condos and commercial space, could finally emerge from a prolonged stall, city officials hope.
A joint Main Street streetscape project could wrap up by next month. In September, crews began to beautify the area around Main Street and River Road. The developer contributed an extra share of about $45,000 toward the $278,227 total cost of the initiative.
Overlooking the Pithlachascotee River, Main Street Landing is “looking sharp,” Councilman Bill Phillips commented this month at a city council meeting. The views from the second floor are magnificent, he added.
Phillips and Mayor Bob Consalvo are eager to set up a hard-hat tour of the empty interior of the building.
The hope of city leaders is that the developer might begin testing the waters of the market for first-floor office space and upper-floor living quarters.
“The interest is there,” Mayor Bob Consalvo said in August about restarting the project. At one point, people had placed down payments on more than 40 of the planned 55 Main Street Landing residential units.
McGurn indicated he would proceed to finish the interior of the building after streetscaping concluded, Iinterim City Manager Susan Dillinger reported in August. That could mean another $1 million investment by the partnership.
First announced in 2004, the riverside commercial project stalled because of several factors, including the post-2007 economic collapse. For years, the fragments of the building stood along the southwestern bank of the Pithlachascotee River at the Main Street bridge.
More than a year ago, crews finished enclosing the shell of the vacant building.
The streetscape project is on schedule and on budget, according to Gary Peterson, construction services manager for the city’s Public Works Department.
“The contractor, Southern Road & Bridge LLC, has done an excellent job and is expecting to finish the project by the second week in December,” Peterson wrote in an email reply.
The city on Sept. 9 issued a notice to proceed with a deadline of no more than 120 days.
“This will include the asphalt paving work on Main Street, the finish work on the pavers, the rest of the concrete sidewalks and curbing, the road islands including the irrigation system, trees and sod and finish work on the railings around the perimeter of the building,” Peterson said.
Steve DiGiovanni, owner of Creative Welding Concepts, has been among contractors applying finishing touches to streetscape. DiGiovanni recently was installing decorative, wrought iron railing along the sidewalk that fronts the building. He said the job for 125 feet of railing should wrap up this week.
Duke Energy is planning to reset the decorative light poles in their original locations, Peterson added.